Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Guinness Academy

After a long weekend in sunny Southend-on-Sea, I'm back to share more from our trip to Dublin last weekend! After our wander around the Guinness Storehouse and a pint in the Gravity bar, Ash and I headed back downstairs to learn how to craft a perfect pint of the black stuff.

Ash and I had a heads up compared to the rest of our group from working at The Wunderbar for years and knowing how differently you treat Guinness compared to any other beer or cider. It's a work of art in itself. We queued up outside the Academy for less than 10 minutes (remember this is a Saturday afternoon in June, so I don't think that's so bad!). As we'd already redeemed our free token in the Gravity Bar, we paid another €5 each and went in to our makeshift bar. We were shown how to pour properly by our guide, and then we all got a turn.

Ash's Guinness was a bit better than mine, because I was excited to be there and put mine down a bit too soon for it's settling stage. Ah well, I guess I can't be best at everything! I wish the guide was a bit more informative about why pouring Guinness is so different to everything else, but he didn't go in to much detail. I guess that's our own fault for not asking though.

4 Steps to a Perfect Guinness
1) Tilt the glass at 45 degrees against the pump, so the bottom of the glass is nearest to you. Pull the tap towards you, holding the glass steady until you have filled the glass 3/4 of the way.
2) Slowly tilt the glass  straight and set it on the bar for the customer to watch. The level should be up to the harp logo.
3) Wait 119.5 seconds. Precisely. Your opportunity to talk to your customer or make the rest of the drinks in their order. After this time, there should be a distinct difference between the black and white.
4) Finish the pint by pushing the tap away from you. Aim the nozzle straight into the middle of the foam and fill to the top. Pushing the tap away from you instead of towards you stops the gas, meaning the white is creamier. If you're a proper Guinness server, you'll be able to put a shamrock in the top as well!

Before we could enjoy our drinks, we had this photo of our group taken with all our perfect pints. (I don't generally have my mouth open, they wanted us to say cheese in Irish...) The photo was available outside on iPads for me to send directly to my email address. It's refreshing to not have to pay for things like that! The best thing though is we got to show off our certificates that say we've crafted the Perfect Pint to my parents who didn't want to queue. Ha!

And then we finally enjoyed our own perfectly crafted Guinness in the Arthur Guinness bar in the heart of the Storehouse surrounded by even more wonderful advertising archives, watching other groups come in and attempt to pour their own pints.

To see more from our Dublin trip, click here!